London Theatre Guide – 2021

Anna X

Where: Harold Pinter Theatre

Actors: Emma Corrin (The Crown), Nabhaan Rizwan (Informer)

Synopsis: Remember the shocking story of Anna Sorokin? A Russian-born German convicted fraudster, who moved to New York and reinvented herself as a wealthy German heiress conning her new friends, banks, and hotels?

While both Netflix and HBO are working on their documentaries on Sorokin, Anna X is a different story but it is inspired by the “fake heiress”. In this production, Anna X is from Ukraine. She arrives in New York and creates a fake identity as an art collector. Soon, at one crazy party, she meets Ariel, a 32-year-old tech entrepreneur and founder of an exclusive dating app. Even though the two start a relationship, Anna is still working her con on Ariel. Will Anna get what she wants? A very interesting and bold take on the American dream.

Dates: 09 Jul 21 – 04 Aug 21

2.  The Rockets and Blue Lights

Where: National Theatre

Actors: Anthony Aje, Paul Bradley, Kiza Deen

Synopsis: On the set of a new film about Victorian artist JMW Turner, young actress Lou is haunted by an unresolved history. Meanwhile, in 1840 Londoners Lucy and Thomas try to come to terms with the meaning of freedom. Moving between London past and present, we embark on a powerfully personal voyage through time.

Directed by Miranda Cromwell, and first staged at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, this astonishing and fiercely political new play by Winsome Pinnock was named winner of the 2018 Alfred Fagon Award.

The production was inspired by JMW Turner’s painting TheSlave Ship that is currently on display in Boston at the Museum of Fine Arts. The play takes a journey through black history.

Dates: 25 August – 9 October

3. Hamlet 

Where: Young Vic

Actors: Cush Jumbo (Good Wife)

Synopsis: The highly-anticipated production of Shakespeare’s great tragedy that was initially planned for 2020 will finally be put on stage this autumn. Cush Jumbo is making her Young Vic debut as a new kind of Hamlet. The actress will reunite with her long-time collaborator, director Greg Hersov, to bring us this tale of power, politics, and desire.  

Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet

Despite the fact that we are accustomed to more traditional portrayals of Hamlet, usually played by men (Benedict Cumberbatch, Jude Law, Andrew Scott, and more), Cush will not be the first woman to ever play the character and will follow a recent run of female Hamlets, including Maxine Peake, Ruth Negga, Michelle Terry, Tessa Parr, and even Sarah Bernhardt – who first played the Prince on stage in 1899. Besides, Cush has already portrayed the role of Mark Anthony in Phyllida Lloyd‘s all-female production of Julius Caesar.

Dates: 25 Sep 2021 – 13 Nov 2021

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth

Where: Almeida Theatre

Actors: James McArdle (Mary Queen of Scots) and Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)

Synopsis: Yaël Farber directs James McArdle and Saoirse Ronan, in an elemental production about a world in transformation, the shadows in all of us, and one couple’s spine-chilling quest for power.

It is a feminist take on Shakespeare’s tragedy – showing the couple in a more equal relationship than most adaptations. The production will reunite Saoirse Ronan with James McArdle, her co-star in the 2018 film Mary Queen of Scots.

Scene from the film Mary Queen of Scots

The Tragedy of Macbeth is going to be Saoirse’s UK stage debut. The Irish-American actress previously appeared on Broadway as the menacing Abigail Williams in Ivo van Hove’s production of The Crucible in 2016, in which she starred alongside Ben Whishaw and Sophie Okenedo.

Dates: Mon 27 Sep – Sat 20 Nov

5. Manor

Where: National Theatre

Actors: Nancy Carroll and Shaun Evans

Synopsis: Diana is struggling to keep the roof on her run-down manor house. As a violent storm sweeps the coast, a group of strangers unexpectedly arrive in search of shelter. Enter Ted, the charismatic leader of a far-right organisation. He could be Diana’s saviour – or he could pull the fragile household to pieces.  Stranded together, the explosive mix of people must survive the weather and each other.  

Dates: 16 Nov 2021 – 1 Jan 2022

6. Life of Pi

Where:Wyndham’s Theatre

Actors: TBA

Synopsis: After a cargo ship sinks in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean, there are five survivors stranded on a lifeboat – a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a Royal Bengal tiger, and a 16 year-old boy named Pi. Time is against them, nature is harsh, who will survive?

Based on one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction – winner of the Man Booker Prize, selling over fifteen million copies worldwide – and featuring breath-taking puppetry and state-of-the-art visuals, Life of Pi is a universally acclaimed, smash hit adaptation of an epic journey of endurance and hope.

Dates: 14 Nov 21 – 27 Feb 22

Author: Anna

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